Nutrition Foundation

10 Tips to Get Your Kids Excited About Physical Activities

In this modern age of smartphones and iPads, kids prefer spending most of their time indoors with minimum physical activity. No matter how hard parents try, the technology has got kids hooked in such a way that all of their efforts go in vain. But parents should know that physical activity is very important for the growing and developing bodies of children.

Lack of physical activity can make your kids unfit and highly prone to a host of chronic and cardiovascular diseases at a later stage in life. Moreover, it can also cause psychological disorders. Many of the studies also suggest that at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day can help children maintain a healthy weight, build endurance, and grow strong muscles and bones.

So, if you are still searching for ways to get your kids excited about physical activities, we have a list of 10 expert tips that can definitely help:

Try to Be a Better Role Model

“Do what I say, not what I do” is the motto a large number of Indian parents live by when it comes to dealing with their kids. But if you want your kids to switch to healthier habits, the change should first come from you.

Parents should try to be more physically active and exercise for at least a few minutes every day in order to encourage the kids. Start being more active and you will see your kids wanting to be more active as well.

1. Try to Be a Better Role Model

“Do what I say, not what I do” is the motto a large number of Indian parents live by when it comes to dealing with their kids. But if you want your kids to switch to healthier habits, the change should first come from you.

Parents should try to be more physically active and exercise for at least a few minutes every day in order to encourage the kids. Start being more active and you will see your kids wanting to be more active as well.

2. Competition Can Be a Great Motivator

Most kids are naturally competitive and you can use it to motivate them for being more active. Turn things like running, jumping jacks, or push-ups into a competition between family members and you’ll probably see your child getting more involved.

Make sure that the winner receives a prize and track their progress regularly.

3. Tie Gifts to Physical Activity

Is your child asking for a new bicycle? A football or new cricket bat maybe? In most of the cases, you’d mostly give in to their demands. But do so in a smart way to promote physical activity.

For instance, say something like you’ll get a new bicycle if he/she exercises for at least 20 minutes for a month.

4. Invite Their Friends

Your kids will start being more active once they start enjoying it. One of the most effective ways to do so is to invite their friends for the activity.

Be it a match of football, cricket, or running, your child will definitely enjoy more with his/her friends around.

5. Screen Time Can be Full of Activity Too

Apart from being physically active outdoors, you also need to look for ways to keep them active indoors. There are several interactive video games such as bowling, baseball, and tennis which require physical activity.

There are also dancing games that you can use to make sure that their screen time indoors is fun and also active.

6. Focus on Their Passion

If your child is passionate about some form of physical activity, he/she is more likely to continue it for a long time. For instance, a lot of young boys in India love playing cricket, running, and skating. Girls, on the other hand, prefer activities like dancing.

All of these activities are great as far as being physically active is concerned. Focus more on these activities as your child likes them already.

7. Prefer Cycling or Walking Over Driving

Rather than sitting inside the car, try to get your kids moving as much as possible. For short distances, prefer walking with them over driving.

Also, if the route is safe, you can also cycle to the destination.

8. Do Not Push But Praise

Note that your child is not really required to be the best at the activities he/she loves. As a parent, you just want to make sure that they are physically active and enjoying the activity.

So, cheer them as they enjoy the activity to keep everything positive and full of fun. Do not push or pressurize them.

9. Involve Them in Household Chores

Make sure that your child also gets to participate in household chores. Washing the car, help with setting up the dinner table, and cleaning are some of the activities that they might like. Try to make the chores fun. For instance, you can put their favorite music on or reward them when they finish the chore.

10. Focus on Nutrition Too

Along with physical activity, it is also very important to focus on their nutrition. Avoid junk food as much as possible and look for healthier alternatives for daily food items.

For instance, consider milk fortified with Vitamin D and Calcium over standard whole milk. This will ensure that your child receives healthy amounts of essential vitamins and minerals on a daily basis which is crucial for healthy growth and development.

Making Physical Activities Fun for Kids

Regular physical activity is very important for the body and mind of your child. If your child is spending a lot of time watching television or playing mobile games, try the tips discussed above to encourage them to be more active.

Combine physical activity with a healthy diet to make sure that they also receive their daily dose of vitamins and minerals. After all, it is a balanced diet that lays the foundation of an active and healthy life.